Due to its absorbing properties and sensitivity, leather is often termed to be semi-living rather than non-living, making it a subject that draws people’s curiosity. It is used to make shoes, bags, jackets, belts, etc. which people use to accessorize their daily looks. You can also use leather furniture or car seat covers, which are bound to add a chic and fashionable look to your lifestyle.
When it comes to leather, with the amazing feel, look and texture comes a bucket load of responsibilities as it requires a lot more care in comparison to other materials. Cleaning and conditioning are essential to ensure the appearance is crack free and intact. Thus, we have taken the duty to present you with some answers regarding leather and what you can use to take care of it.
What is Faux Leather?
Faux leather is known by various other names, such as vegan leather, artificial leather, synthetic leather, leatherette, imitation leather, etc. As you might have already guessed by seeing these names, faux leather, unlike genuine leather, isn’t made of rawhide or animal skins. Instead, they are synthetically created using different chemicals.
Faux leather is generally of two types: PVC-Vinyl (Polyvinyl Chloride) and Polyurethane. Being more durable, affordable, and often enough, more fashionable (as it can be printed upon), it holds some advantages against real leather. Being low maintenance puts it on the more advantageous side. However, unlike authentic leather, it is not breathable, cannot be stretched and is prone to tears and scratches.
Should You Use Coconut Oil On Leather And Faux Leather?
One thing that both leather and faux leather have in common is that they require conditioning, although the conditioning process differs. This is because, unlike real leather, faux leather is nonporous, meaning it does not have similar absorbing properties.
Coconut oil, being a very good conditioner, can be applied to both, to soften them down and prevent wrinkles and cracks. Its strengths lie in the facts that it is hypoallergenic, adds a water-repellent feature to your leather, and is easily available in most places.
Before application, you should clean your leather using a leather cleaner or soap and then apply the coconut oil using a dry piece of cloth. Any excess should be wiped off. It is best to slightly heat the oil before applying to make sure there are no clumps. Putting the leather item in a warm place after application is also advisable.
Will Coconut Oil Darken Leather?
Conditioning your leather with coconut oil does indeed make it darker. Thus, when applying coconut oil, it is better to apply all over your leather thoroughly, to avoid dark patches only on certain places. Besides this, leather naturally darkens with age and also under exposure to light.
Does Coconut Oil Waterproof Leather?
Coconut oil, unlike animal based oils, has a thinner texture. It does give your leather a water resistant coat, but only temporarily. Upon usage of the leather piece, the water proof coating rubs off. However, mixing coconut oil with beeswax or carnauba wax and then applying will grant you the water resistant coating you want.
Which Oil Is Best For Leather?
Oil softens leather like moisturizer softens skin. Expensive leather conditioners can be easily replaced with oils which are affordable and easier to find. It is, however, arguable that leather oils tend to do a better job since they are specifically designed for the purpose of conditioning leather.
If you are looking to replace your leather conditioner, mink oil, olive oil or Neatsfoot oil are all worthy contenders. Baby oil, coconut oil and olive oil should be kept into consideration too.
How To Apply Oil To Leather:
- At first, you need to clean the leather with saddle soap, leather cleaner or mild dishwashing soap. Use a damp piece of cloth to do this.
- Let the water dry off; allow at least 24 hours.
- Condition your leather surface using a clean piece of (microfibre) cloth and a small amount (applying too much can lead to over conditioning which might make the leather surface sticky) of oil.
- Wait for a few hours before wiping off any excess residue.
- Spray the surface with a leather spray to shield it from any possible damage.
How to Clean Leather:
Cleaning leather requires mild dishwashing soap or saddle soap. The latter is always the better option as you can find different ones for different types of leather. A lot of people make a combination of vinegar and water to clean their leather surfaces; although this has proven to be useful a lot of times, some say it can damage your leather’s color depending on its type. So, before cleaning with the vinegar and water solution, perform a patch test on a small area first.
Cleaning should be done using a damp piece of microfibre cloth and the solution should be rubbed in, in circular motions. This process is effective in removing dirt from your leather surface. If you have ink stains on your leather, dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and slowly dab on the place, making sure not to spread it out.
After cleaning, let it dry properly before conditioning.
Leather Conditioning Based on The Type of Leather
Leather conditioning changes based on different types of leather and the extent of their usage. Heavy duty leather requires oils with a thicker consistency, whereas thinner leathers can work with thinner consistency oils like coconut oil.
Conditioning periods need to be altered based on usage. Things like furniture need to be strictly limited to being conditioned once or twice a year, while every day-use leather goods like shoes or belts may be conditioned whenever necessary. Car seat covers usually require conditioning every few months.
What is the best thing to clean faux leather with?
Faux leather is best cleaned using mild dishwashing soaps or liquid detergents. Spreadable stains like ink blots should be cleaned using rubbing alcohol. White vinegar and water solutions or vinegar and olive oil solutions can also be possible remedies for getting your faux leather clean.
Once all the dirt has been removed, remember to wipe off the remains using a damp piece of cloth to prevent any chemicals present in your cleaning solution from harming your leather.